Alberta started accepting vaccine bookings for kids as young as 12 starting May 10.
Some locations are accepting calls, but most will direct you to book online. Once you’re on the waitlist, the pharmacy may send a memo saying it could take weeks, or even months — that is not always the case.
“I booked Saturday, and today is Monday, so two days,” says Rebecca Oudman, who received her first dose at The Medicine Shoppe. “A lot of them said (it’s) a four week wait on the website, so I was expecting the beginning of June…something like that”.
Pharmacies can request up to 200 doses — the challenge becomes, when exactly they will arrive. The Medicine Shoppe by the hospital will administer 200 doses between Monday and Tuesday.
“It’s challenging for them too, because they have to modify their own schedule and they have to come and get the vaccine right away or within a day or two. That’s what’s happening lately,” says pharmasist at The Medicine Shoppe, Vishal Sukhadiya.
“Right now presently we have about 250-280 people on our waitlist. Once we know when that vaccine is going to come in, then at least we can start offering those people to set up booking, and book an appointment,” says pharmacist at Norbridge Pharmacy, Edward Vegter.
Back in February when Albertans 75 or older became eligible, AHS’s website crashed because the demand was so high. Sukhadiya says there was a greater demand at his location when those 65 or older became eligible.
“For every 200 doses, we had 1000 people on the waitlist, but now the waitlist is getting shorter,” adds Sukhadiya.
Pharmacists say that come summertime, the province will provide centralized booking.